Monday, June 6, 2011

Imagine yourself driving to work

Imagine yourself driving to work, and instead of the quick 10, 20, 30, or even hour long commute, it took you several hours. Often you aren’t able to make it to work because you have to pass through checkpoints where security has the right to arbitrarily deny you passage.  Imagine yourself as a college student unable to complete your education because you can’t get to school on a regular basis because of these same checkpoints.  Imagine that you or a loved one has a medical emergency, and you or your loved one dies because you aren't allowed through the checkpoint.  Imagine yet again, being a farmer who has a truck of produce to sell and you can’t because you have had to sit for hours at the checkpoint and your harvest has rotted in the heat of the day.  Or imagine yourself as another farmer who always had easy access to your fields, but now you have to walk hours to get to an opening in a separation wall that has been built.  Often, after you have walked for hours, you get to an opening and it has been arbitrarily closed for the day, and you have to go back home, unable to tend your land.  How would these situations thwart and affect your physical and mental health, the ability to live a full life, and your society as a whole?  These are some of the hardships faced on a daily basis by Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.  The ability to lead  a life - go to school or work, farm your land, even visit family in another town, are civil rights that have all been strictly curtailed and denied to Palestinians by the Israeli government.  A government supported by our government and  our tax dollars despite flagrant violations of human rights and international laws.

Alison Francis

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